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Disenchanted fails to live up to the charm of the original

Released 15 years after Disney's hugely successful Enchanted (2007), Disenchanted is undeniably a hotly awaited sequel. But is it a justified one?

By Sienna Thompson, Second Year, English

The long-awaited sequel to Disney’s Enchanted (2007) has finally hit Disney+ for all to watch and for many this is a monumental occasion. However, has the magic of the first film worn off? And was the making of it necessary at all?

Enchanted was one of my favourite films when I was younger, so I wanted the sequel to live up to the brilliance of the original. Combining an animated fairy tale world with real life New York was a highly original concept and was what made the film so memorable for many. Disenchanted, on the other hand, seemed very much more a Disney musical than anything more innovative.

Amy Adams as Giselle and Patrick Dempsey as Robert in Enchanted (2007) // Photo by Disney, courtesy of IMDB

Seeing Amy Adams return as Giselle was heart-warming; even after 15 years, she still offered that naïve, innocent princess we adored in the first film. Her energy and the way she embraces the role is truly magnificent, her vocals are stunning and her solo performances mesmerising.

In addition to this, seeing her become the wicked stepmother was amazing. Her ability to switch between the most opposite characters possible in the fairy tale universe was stunning.

Although other characters from the first film did return, such as Patrick Dempsey as Robert and Idina Menzel as Nancy, James Marsden’s role as the clueless Prince Edward was truly missed. His screen time was unfortunately very low, and he could have contributed much more to the film with his simple and entertaining one-liners, as well as even more nostalgia.

Photo by Disney, courtesy of IMDB

There is less of the humorous struggle of fairy tale characters interacting with our world, instead Disenchanted presents the real-life world becoming more of a fairy tale. An interesting perspective perhaps, but certainly less memorable.

That said, seeing an older Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) interact with the fairy tale world was brilliant. As a child she adored everything about Giselle, and she finally got to see her world when she needed to most.

A contribution I did enjoy was that of the beloved Maya Rudolph as Malvina Monroe. Seeing her embody the evil queen in the fairy tale world was comical with her delivering more mature humour than any of the other characters. Her witticisms fit comfortably into the strange world of Enchanted.

Maya Rudolph as Malvina Monroe in Disenchanted (2022) // Photo by Disney, courtesy of IMDB

Watching the sequel as an adult, I can see the sequel has a more child-like appeal than the first film. I found that the first film included many parts enjoyable for adults and children alike, whereas the sequel has a more targeted child audience.

This is seen in the use of brighter colours, more musical numbers, and childish comedy, as well as this, many Disney references were made such as to The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991).

Amy Adams as Giselle in Disenchanted (2022) // Photo by Disney, courtesy of IMDB

I knew going into this film that it could never outdo the first film, but I do appreciate the effort put into recreating the world and still found it an entertaining watch. The magic of Enchanted left an imprint on me that Disenchanted couldn’t quite manage. While the nostalgia hit was nice, I don’t really believe this was a necessary sequel.

Featured Image: by Disney, courtesy of IMDB

Did you find that Disenchanted lived up to its name?